Shiva Keshavan still awaiting TOPS funds 2 months before Winter Olympics
What's the Story
Indian luger Shiva Keshavan took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the lack of funds being directed towards the Winter Olympics athletes.
He even said that the situation for some players is so dire that they are forced to consider skipping a few events. The Winter Olympics begin in just over 2 months and Keshavan says that 6 Winter Olympics candidates are still awaiting funding.
In case you didn't know
Shiva Keshavan is India's only luger and he has won the Asia Cup in Nagano thrice. He is also the first Indian to qualify for the Winter Olympics.
The heart of the matter
Last week, Keshavan qualified for his 6th consecutive Winter Olympics at the Viessmann Luge World Cup 2017-18 in Innsbruck, Austria. Out of 57 athletes, he finished 23rd. The 6 other athletes he mentioned, participate in alpine skiing, cross country, and speed skating. They all will have the chance to qualify for Pyeong Chang in February next year.
Keshavan admitted that he cannot rely on the Target Olympic Podium Scheme and may have to crowdfund his way to the Olympics. He even referred to Abhinav Bindra's comments about India's chance of hosting the Olympics. Bindra said that there is a lot of pressure of the athletes to win medals when Olympic season begins. But once it is over, the same athletes are shoved to the sidelines.
There is hope for more Indian representation at the Games, provided these athletes can get past the alpine skiing, cross country, and speed skating hurdles.
India isn't traditionally a nation that is proficient in winter sports, but Keshavan and his fellow athletes are doing their best to change that dynamic. Now if only the nation itself can take the Winter Olympics a little more seriously and help these athletes out.